Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Vaso Vagal information

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I began fainting in late 1999 and it was diagnosed in early 2000 as classic vaso vagal syncope after all cardiac tests showed the fainting WAS NOT associated with a heart condition. The Cardiology group which did very extensive testing so as to eliminate cardiovascular disorder referred me to an Electro Cardiologist within their group. He was extremely experienced with vaso vagal syncope and after detailed interviews regarding each fainting spell and subsequent tilt table testing advised me he was sure of his vaso vagal diagnosis regarding my condition. Over the next couple of years I requested and had several consultations with him. During my last consultation in May 2002 he told me he was sensing my anxiety and gave me the "bottom line" as follows: Your condition will not get any worse nor will it get any better. The best thing you can do is realize this and adjust to a life style so as to live with it better. He said it is not life threatening as long as you don't put yourself in harms way by swimming, skydiving, driving on freeways, climbing ladders, etc. The most important he told me was that over the next few years I would learn from living with the condition how to adjust seemingly minor daily actions which would benefit and lessen symptoms which occur on a regular basis daily. I have in fact learned a great deal over the last 3-4 years just like he said I would. Basically, daily I will have minor off balance or slight dizzy moments which I know is the condition "messing" with me. I stop what I'm doing and focus on the moment and take deep slow breaths. Within a couple of minutes things seem to stabilize and I'm back to normal until next time which may be 3-4 times a day. On an average of about every 2-3 months I'll get one of those dizzy moments and recognize it is escalating out of control and will result in a full blown fainting spell. On those occasions I do exactly what the diagnosing Doctor advised me to do which is to immediately get on my back and elevate my legs above my head so as to force blood to gravity feed to brain. I have done this on a regular basis when playing tennis and negated full blown blackouts approximately 50% of the time. This method of dealing with the condition is very effective if one can recognize when their condition is escalating to a faint. Where as vaso vagal is not pleasant to live with it does seem to get easier to live with once one understands their body signals. Do your best to avoid stress, dehydration and lack of sleep. Eat lots and lots of salt in your diet, drink plenty of fluids and live a life style which doesn't put you in harms way. If your body is tired from lack of sleep, stress or flu like symptoms, you are more likely to have vaso vagal syncope problems so beware. Prior to realizing the seriousness of my condition I was driving on the freeway and experienced an episode which escalated quickly to a black out and caused a serious traffic accident as I hit to cars going 60 mph.

This web site is not a substitute for a thorough medical evaluation and diagnosis of your vaso-vagal type symptoms.  Medical treatment and diagnosis is the only acceptable initial response to these serious symptoms since they might present from any number of life threatening and treatable illnesses. It is for you and your physician to rule out more serious illnesses; Please don't use this online forum as an alternative to getting responsible medical attention and being under the care of a physician for the duration of any unknown, suspected or dangerous vaso-vagal syndrome symptoms.
Last changed: June 22, 2007